Applying GIS to Locate the USS Louisiana: A Study of the Fort Fisher Civil War Battlefield
Clayton, Brian T.
Historical Geographic Information Science (GIS) is an innovative field within geography and this work encompasses critical and historical cartographic analysis within a GIS framework to find the missing Civil War shipwreck USS Louisiana. In the early morning hours on 24 December 1864, the Union Navy exploded a powdership in an attempt to incapacitate Fort Fisher. The mission failed and the ship faded into the historical records. While researching a thesis topic, a Civil War map was located that indicated a "wreck" off Fort Fisher in the water that once opened into the Cape Fear River, New Inlet. An inscription on the map indicated that it was for Mr. John S. Bradford who worked for the U.S. Coast Survey Office and was once an aide-de-camp to Rear Admiral David D. Porter. Historical records point out that Mr. Bradford conducted a thorough hydrographic survey of the entrances to the Cape Fear River after the fall of Fort Fisher in 1865. By using GIS techniques and historical records, this work created a new survey area to find the Louisiana. Using a marine magnetometer, a terrestrial beach survey located a large dipolar magnetic anomaly that pinpointed a shipwreck on the map presented to Mr. John S. Bradford in 1866. The genesis of the powdership came from Major General Benjamin F. Butler, a Union Army commander in the first Battle of Fort Fisher and a prominent Democratic politician, with a proclivity for causing trouble. This thesis hypothesizes that it is possible that Mr. Bradford located the remains of the Louisiana, but chose not to identify it by its proper name on the historical chart because it would have caused Admiral Porter political fallout, since his men carried out the operation.
Clayton, Brian T.. (January 2013). Applying GIS to Locate the USS Louisiana: A Study of the Fort Fisher Civil War Battlefield (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4315.)
Clayton, Brian T.. Applying GIS to Locate the USS Louisiana: A Study of the Fort Fisher Civil War Battlefield. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2013. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4315. May 21, 2018.
Clayton, Brian T., “Applying GIS to Locate the USS Louisiana: A Study of the Fort Fisher Civil War Battlefield” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2013).
Clayton, Brian T.. Applying GIS to Locate the USS Louisiana: A Study of the Fort Fisher Civil War Battlefield [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2013.
East Carolina University